Saudi king calls for female picture ban

King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia has told newspaper editors to stop publishing pictures of women as they could lead young men astray.

    King Abdullah advised editors to ignore the foreign press

    After a meeting with editors on Monday, the king was reported in the Saudi media as saying that "one needs to think if he would want his daughter, sister or wife to appear like that. Of course, no one would".

    Newspapers have recently broken with tradition and published pictures of women with hair covered but faces showing.

    They had also begun to debate women's issues, such as being forbidden to drive and vote.

    "Young people are driven by emotion and the spirit, but the spirit can go astray. So I ask you to go easy on these things," the king also reportedly said.

    Abdullah had been regarded by many Saudis as a quiet reformer who might begin to loosen the strict social codes that govern the conservative Gulf state.

    In recent months, however, many figures in the powerful religious establishment have used mosque sermons and websites to criticise any move towards "liberalisation".

    The 83-year-old ruler also called on newspapers to stop publishing stories that portray the country in a negative light.

    "I ask you to go easy on ... unclear issues based on rumours and not to write things that hurt your country," he said.

    Abdullah also advised newspapers to ignore foreign media organisations, especially when their stories are "against Islam or against Arabs".

    SOURCE: Agencies


    'We scoured for days without sleeping, just clothes on our backs'

    'We scoured for days without sleeping, just clothes on our backs'

    The Philippines’ Typhoon Haiyan was the strongest storm ever to make landfall. Five years on, we revisit this story.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    Daughters of al-Shabab

    Daughters of al-Shabab

    What draws Kenyan women to join al-Shabab and what challenges are they facing when they return to their communities?